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Andaman Birding Tour

Kolkata - Port Blair - Shoal Bay - Chidiya Tapu - Mount Harriet National Park - Port Blair - Kolkata

7 Days / 6 Nights

Our Andaman Birding Tour takes you to one of the world’s remotest birding hotspots and treats you to a wonderful pageantry of endemic birds. The geographic isolation of the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been a boon for its avifauna.

  • Hotels
    HOTELS

    Booked as per
    request.

  • Meals
    Meals

    Included except arrival and departure city.

  • Guide
    Guide

    Private guide for complete tour.

  • Transportation
    Transportation

    Airport to Airport.

  • Group Size
    Group Size

    2-8PAX

  • TranspPick up, drop offort
    Pick up, drop off

    Included

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  • Introduction
  • Tour Highlights
  • Brief Itinerary
  • Tour Details
  • Gallery

Our Andaman Birding Tour takes you to one of the world’s remotest birding hotspots and treats you to a wonderful pageantry of endemic birds.

The geographic isolation of the archipelago of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been a boon for its avifauna. Being hundreds of kilometres away from any continental land mass, this cluster of islands far south of the Bay of Bengal has not just been spared exploitation at the hands of humans, but has also seen, over centuries and millennia, evolution of several bird species that are exclusive to the islands. These incredible avian beauties are the target of our birding adventure of the Andamans.

The archipelago itself is quite large and many parts are strictly off limits. Our Andaman birdwatching tour focusses on South Andaman, particularly the areas around its capital Port Blair.

At first glance, Port Blair may seem like a green and quaint town with a bit of hustle and bustle typical of Indian cities, but just a casual walk in the woods and marshes around it reveals a thriving habitat of birds.

A short ferry ride away from Port Blair is a place called Shoal Bay, a marshy wetland of mangroves where you may see almost all of the endemic birds of Andamans, including: Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Andaman Crake, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Shama, and Andaman Drongo.

Just as good a birding site, if not better, is Chidiya Tapu (Bird Island), a patch of evergreen forest spread along sea shore. This birding hotspot of Andaman yields the endemics and other birds such as Changeable Hawk Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Beach Thick-knee, Olive-backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, and a host of kingfishers.

Chidiya Tapu is also a great place for nocturnal birding. Some sharp-eyed probing in the dark unveils the likes of Andaman Masked Owl, Andaman Scops Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Hume's Hawk Owl, Andaman Nightjar and Andaman Barn Owl.

Likewise, Mount Harriet National Park is a favourite haunt of birders, especially those who want to catch sight of a fascinating variety of wildlife, apart from a whole range of birds. Here, you get to sight woodpeckers, kingfishers, cuckooshrikes, minivets, drongos, treepies, parakeets, thrushes, sunbirds and raptors.

Andaman Birding Trip covers these hotspots over a period of a week, which includes at least four full birding days. On multiple occasions, we continue birding well into the night to watch the nocturnal beauties.

INDIA BIRDING TOURS is among the few trailblazers who opened up Andaman birding tourism to the world. We have a long experience of conducting successful bird trips in the Andamans and we know well the sites that are likely to throw up the best views of the endemic, resident and migratory birds, including some bird species from Myanmar and Malaysia, which are geographically closer to the Andamans than mainland India.

The best time to do our Andaman birding expedition is from October to March. The weather is pleasant around this time of year and the birding hotpots abound with winged wonders you won’t tire of watching and photographing.

  • Endemic birds of the Andamans
  • Bird species from South-East Asia
  • Nocturnal birding
  • Best birding guidance and advice
  • Maximum birding hours on average
  • In tune with conservation practices
  • Splendid flora and fauna
  • Opportunities for water sports and beach lounging
  • Cultural and recreational activities on the side
  • Excellent local cuisine, including seafood
  • Day 1: Kolkata
  • Day 2: Kolkata - Port Blair
  • Day 3: Birding at Shoal Bay
  • Day 4: Birding at Chidiya Tapu
  • Day 5: Birding at Mount Harriet National Park
  • Day 6: Birding around Port Blair
  • Day 7: Port Blair - Kolkata

Lodging: We have a whole range of accommodation to offer, but we prefer for our clients the lodging that enhances their overall Andaman birding experience. We choose hotels, villas, resorts, or lodges that are close to the birding sites so that you may spot an odd bird even from your window or balcony. The accommodation provides all the basic amenities and top-class service. If you have a specific demand regarding accommodation, do let us know in advance.

Meals: We are very mindful of the food our guests are served during any birding trip of India. We put you up in hotels or resorts that have both western and Indian food on their menu. You may be vegetarian or may love meat, there is always something to satisfy your palate. At times, when we camp out and overnight in tents, our kitchen staff takes over and rustles up some mouth-watering delicacies. Our staff and the hotels we put you up in follow best hygiene practices.

Tour Difficulty: Our Andaman birdwatching adventure makes no strenuous demands on your physical stamina, but it has some back-to-back full days of birding that require long hours in the field, walking long distances, while carrying your own equipment such as binoculars, camera, field guide, backpack, etc. You should be equal to this task. The terrain is mostly flat, save a few gentle slopes at Mount Harriet National Park. On some evenings, we birdwatch late into the night.

Tour Extension: There is plenty of opportunity in the Andamans for water sports and adventure. You may want to go for a scuba dive or a short stint at Havelock Island, which is famous for its gorgeous beaches and yummy seafood. Or you may want to go sightseeing at Cellular Jail or Anthropological Museum. We can include these visits in tour extension, provided you inform us well in advance to let us make necessary arrangements.

Climate: The summer in the Andamans can be hot and humid, but the winter brings in a refreshing spell of pleasant weather. The six-month period from October through March is the best time to do birding in Andamans. The monsoon is well over by this time and the birds are out in large numbers. Casual summer wear is fine for this weather, and you may want to carry along a light raincoat or poncho for an odd shower. Do also bear in mind that Andaman has early mornings and early evenings, as per the Indian Standard Time.

Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is where we start our Andaman birdwatching tour. You arrive in Kolkata. Our driver or tour guide picks you up from the airport or railway station and transfers you to a pre-booked hotel. After a rest break, we take you out on a Short Birding Tours of Kolkata.

You may be surprised to know that Kolkata, despite all the urban clamour and excitement, hosts a good variety of wintering migratory birds. Just 10 km away from the city is a lake called Santragachi Jheel, which abounds with migratory birds. A bit of exploring around the lake reveals the likes of Fulvous Whistling Duck, Swinhoe’s Snipe, Northern Pintail, Gadwall, Lesser Whistling Teal, Comb Duck, Baikal Teal, and many other avian curiosities. We continue birding till dusk and then drive back to the hotel in Kolkata. At night, you may wander out and take in the delectable sights and sounds of the ‘city of joy’. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

After breakfast, we board a flight from Kolkata to Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The flight usually takes around two-and-a-half hours and, adding up the commute time, we check into our hotel in Port Blair around noon. We rest and have lunch before stepping out to watch the birds of Andamans.

Port Blair and the areas around it so teem with birds that all it takes is a short trip to one of the local water bodies to see some incredible avian beauties like Chinese Pond Heron, Chinese Egret, Pintail Snipe, Common Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Red-necked Stint, Long-toed Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Greater Sand Plover, Oriental Plover, Grey-headed Lapwing, Crab Plover, Oriental Pratincole, Gull-billed Tern, and Lesser Crested Tern. This India Short Birding Tours of Port Blair warms you up for the busy birding days ahead.

We dine at the hotel, or you may try out local restaurants if you wish to. Overnight at the hotel or resort.

We start the day early to clock in precious hours of morning birding. After a short drive, we take a ferry to Shoal Bay, a patch of rainforest with marshy wetlands where aquatic birds throng to in large numbers. Time is of the essence in these early hours, and so we have packed breakfast and even carry our packed lunches.

Shoal Bay is where you may see almost all the endemic birds of Andaman, besides a lot of other winged beauties. A good day of birding at Shoal Bay yields the likes of Andaman Woodpecker, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Violet Cuckoo, Asian Koel, Brown Coucal, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Alexandrine Parakeet, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Red Collared Dove, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Emerald Dove, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Green Imperial Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Andaman Crake, Slaty-breasted Rail, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Treepie, apart from many others.

Lest we break our birding rhythm, we have packed lunches at Shoal Bay itself and continue birdwatching until the evening, when we return to our hotel in Port Blair for dinner and overnight.

A full busy day of birding awaits us as we leave our Port Blair hotel for Chidiya Tapu (Bird Island), which is an hour’s drive away. The birding trail starts about 4 km before Chidiya Tapu and runs right into the heart of the mangrove island and along its seashore forest.

The woods and waters here host many endemic, resident and migratory birds. A fruitful day of birding at Chidiya Tapu treats you to the sights of Andaman Crake, Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Shama, Changeable Hawk Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Drongo, Beach Thick-knee, Olive-backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Violet Cuckoo, Asian Koel, Red-breasted Parakeet, and a lot more birds.

Around evening, we spend an hour or two lounging on the beach and watching the sunset. There are also some water sport opportunities nearby. After dusk, we scour the surroundings for night birds, such as Andaman Masked Owl, Andaman Scops Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Hume's Hawk Owl, Andaman Nightjar and Andaman Barn Owl. Following this successful stint of nocturnal birding, we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Mount Harriet National Park is named after the third highest peak (Mount Harriet) in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is a favourite stomping ground of nature lovers and birders alike, owing to the glorious flora and fauna that one finds here. The park is also touted as a butterfly hotspot and has a fascinating marine ecosystem on its eastern coast.

This biodiversity haven is located about 10 km from Port Blair and we arrive here early in the morning to make the most of our birding trip to Mount Harriet National Park. A day of birdwatching here unveils a wide range of avifauna, including Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Andaman Crake, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Black-naped Oriole, Black-hooded Oriole, Large Cuckooshrike, Bar-bellied Cuckooshrike, Ashy Minivet, Small Minivet, Andaman Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-naped Monarch, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Blue Rock Thrush, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Pintail Snipe, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Treepie, Orange-headed Thrush, Olive-backed Sunbird, and White-headed Starling, and many others.

In the evening, we return to our hotel in Port Blair for dinner and overnight.

This is an interesting day of our Andaman birding holiday. For on this day, it is you who decides where to bird in the vicinity of Port Blair. Having covered Shoal Bay, Chidiya Tapu and Mount Harriet National Park, you are in a position to repeat any of these birding destinations of Andamans as you please.

The idea is to seek out the missing species in our checklist. We may tread around the wetlands, marshes, forests and sea shores to catch a glimpse of these avian specialties of Andaman. To make the most of this day, we may continue birding even after dusk and into the night to see some nocturnal birds. This day rounds off four back-to-back days of most interesting birdwatching in Andamans. We return to our hotel by evening or night and then dine and overnight.

After breakfast, we transfer you to the airport for a morning flight to Kolkata. Our birding adventure of Andaman comes to an end.

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